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Old 2011-12-02, 14:35   Link #211
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Join Date: Dec 2005
I'm not sure how anyone can argue that anime hasn't changed a lot over the years. However, I think that this change is more on the level of decades rather than over a few years. Other than a small shift in the kinds of shows that are popular, the changes from about 2000-present are incremental. However, compare this to the shows made in 1990 or 1980, and the amount of change becomes a huge gulf.

Originally Posted by Tiresias View Post
There currently seems to be an increase of the "ordinary student guy", the one who at the beginning is perfectly normal, maybe even bland. nothing special, no great talents, not good at making friends, some even going so far as being losers.

And then the "call" happens, something like accidentally finding an artifact of HAXX that suddenly makes him a major player in an epic war.

But...he stays normal. He joins the adventure and kicks ass, but that's because he has the HAXX power to kick ass, not because he's experienced or trained.
This archetype always been in anime - dating to Mobile Suit Gundam and earlier. The main difference nowadays is the urge to combine this kind of adventure story with the school life story. But that's more due to the fetishization of high school than anything else.

What's really key to this archetype is that it's far more prevalent now than it ever has been. And I think that's one of the key trends in the industry. The awkward everyman is a favorite of Japanese otaku, and Japanes otaku are the ones sustaining the industry. As a result, we see a lot more of him.

Originally Posted by Tiresias View Post
I miss shows like Patlabor, where the heroes were not the ones with some uber-powerful mechs - with shows today, whenever a hero kicks ass I tend to think "that's not him being awesome, that's his mech being awesome". And the protagonists are not the Chosen One or someone who accidentally found a Plot Item of Destiny, they're people who consciously enlist for the job and become good at what they do because they constantly practice for it.
Shows like Patlabor are precisely the kind that aren't getting made any more. General audiences used to make up a large portion of the anime landscape, but there's fewer and fewer shows made for them. noitaminA used to be the key bastion against this trend, but they've announced that they're throwing in the towel.

It's a bit hard to blame them seeing how Madhouse die because they tried to do something different.

Originally Posted by Tiresias View Post
Is this trend good or bad? Well your mileage will definitely vary on this one, but as for me, I have far more respect on those who earn their place that those who got it on a silver platter, so you can guess my opinion on the subject
It's definitely bad if you want more diversity in anime. Anime is eating itself, with more and more creators who draw solely from manga, other anime, or anime-like novels and games. And the ones who made those manga, other anime, novels and games in turn are only familiar with manga/anime, and so on.
The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won...
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